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The Region : 'Twi-hards' ready for 'New Moon' premiere : Fans of the 'Twilight' saga camp out days early in Westwood.

November 15, 2009|Yvonne Villarreal

Westwood Village has entered the "Twilight" zone.

The U.S. premiere of "New Moon," the latest movie installment in the "Twilight" vampire saga, is set for Monday at Mann's Village Theatre and Bruin Theatre, and fans have invaded the sidewalks hoping to get a glimpse of the cast.

First in line was Alison Genet, 35, who drove from Gilbert, Ariz., arriving Thursday morning.

"I couldn't get here fast enough," said Genet, who runs the social networking site "I want to be front and center when Monday comes around."

She made the five-hour trip with fellow "Twilight" devotee Kim Clarkson in a Mini Cooper loaded with blankets and "Twilight" goodies. They even put up a sign declaring where the line started.

Representatives from Summit Entertainment, which is releasing the vampire saga, took a and posted it on Twitter. It wasn't long before more "Twi-hards" -- from as far away as Australia -- descended upon the area.

By Saturday afternoon, hundreds were camped along Le Conte Avenue, Westwood Boulevard and Weyburn Avenue. And they came prepared.

There were cots with blankets emblazoned with pictures of Robert Pattinson, who plays the franchise's dreamboat vampire, Edward Cullen; posters with heartfelt dedications such as "Suck my blood, Edward"; and "Twilight" umbrellas for shade.

The latest issue of Vanity Fair, featuring Pattinson, was in ample supply. A few water bottles sporting Taylor Lautner, who plays werewolf Jacob Black, were scattered about.

And cardboard cut-outs of Edward and Jacob -- for fans to take pictures with -- headed the line. There were even Cullen-cicles (a photo of Edward pasted to a wooden stick) floating around.

"They're laminated," said Clarkson, 37, co-moderator of . '"So if you feel the urge to lick -- which we've already seen happen -- it's OK."

When they weren't licking laminated paper, fans were doing just about anything to pass time. Some knitted. Others slept. Many hunched over poster boards, grabbing at markers, glue sticks and glitter. "I can't believe people are out here already," said Kelly Meeker, 22, a law student at UCLA who was walking down La Conte Avenue. "I've read the books; it's cool . . . but I wouldn't camp out like this. This is crazy."

"Twilight" mania is likely to intensify as the week goes on.

"New Moon," the sequel in the "Twilight" franchise, based on Stephanie Meyer's bestselling novels, hits theaters Friday. Summit Entertainment is hoping to match the success of the first film, which grossed more than $383.6 million worldwide. And it seems to be on track to do just that. More than a week before its Nov. 20 release, "New Moon" had sold more than four times as many tickets as "Twilight" at at the same point in the sales cycle, with more than 1,300 sold-out performances -- including 900 midnight performances.

"Rob is a very good reason to do just about anything," said Kelly Orr, 23, a psychology major at Cal State Fullerton. "It's like "Twilight"-fest. First the premiere. Then the midnight screening. There can never be too much Rob."


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